As an NSF GRFP recipient, I have to write up an annual activities report, summarizing my work from the past year. This was due today, the same day that I had to give lab meeting. I am happy that I am finished with both, but it ended up being a bit of an ego-blasting experience.
Frankly, I feel like my research is tanking. I know that’s not actually the case; I have been developing a protocol and there are lots of things for me to control for, and who knows, maybe I will have it working next week. But it’s hard not to look at my past year’s worth of negative data and feel my stomach sink down to the ground. I’ve become a one trick pony that can’t even perform the single trick.
In my semi-depression as I was finishing up my work last night, I ended up getting punchy and adding this blurb to the end of my activities report:
Finally, I have begun a two decade long experiment in human development. In September 2008, my first aim was completed with the birth of a healthy 8lb 5oz son. Currently, I am continuing work on my second aim of raising the boy to school age, while working on my Ph.D. full time.
I know this is the frustration and emotion talking, but I’m not even sure if I want to continue with that second aim. That said, when I talked to Robin about my misgivings, I phrased it as “giving up” …. implying that there’s something that I want to work towards (the phd). So. Look at me still talking when there’s science to do.